Tales From the Sales Trenches - Part 1
Getting leads is only the beginning of the process to acquiring customers. And, it’s a process that many companies could improve on that would boost the number of sales and marketing leads they get each year.
To get up close and personal with the challenges of routing new sales and marketing leads within enterprise sized companies, we conducted an interview with a Senior Account Executive of a major marketing automation company. We wanted to understand the day to day challenges that the executive faces when assigned an inbound lead.
Digital Persona: Can you walk me through step by step what happens when a new marketing qualified lead comes to you?
Account Executive: 1. First, I get an email alert, with very limited data:
Marketing Activity (e.g. "opened XXX campaign email on 01/03/2017")
Link back to lead record in salesforce.com
2. Since the data is so limited, I then spend the next 30 minutes researching the missing data about the prospect. This info should have been in the lead but it wasn’t. Examples of the data I research:
LinkedIn profile for the contact
Linkedin profile for the company
Company web page
Contact's facebook page
Contact's Twitter page
Statistics on the company (size, industry, employees, financials, news of interest)
I need to collect this type of information about a lead so that I can see where the pain points of a potential customer might lay and I develop rapport with the prospect once I contact them.
3. Here are some of the sources of data I consult to fill in the missing data points about each new lead. These sources help me develop a rudimentary picture of the prospect and their company. The sources are:
Digital Persona: How do you think this process could be improved?
Account Executive: As you can see, our internal sales data for each new prospect and company is pretty useless. There are wide combinations of incomplete, inaccurate and out of date data. My job would be so much easier if just a few improvements were made. It would help tremendously if:
A lot of the data I was looking for was included with the original contact information for the sales lead before it was assigned to me
Links were embedded the original lead form that is sent to me (e.g. Linkedin profile URL). This would speed up the time in researching prospects and companies because I wouldn't have to search for them first.
I spend up to 10 hours per week researching and searching for data on clients and prospects. [That number aligns with the Gartner estimate that 27% of sales executive's time is spent sourcing data on customers and prospects]. Imagine if I could spend 27% more of my time on actually selling?
When a sales executive of a major marketing automation company expresses frustration over the quality and quantity of key prospect and customer data, you know the industry has some way to go in terms of improving the way they process their inbound sales and marketing leads and the quality of their core sales data quality.
This is why we created ContactPERSONA. We want to give companies better quality sales leads that are more likely to turn into a sale and improve the sales exec’s chance of a successful first contact with a new prospect.